Florence is really nice and Jenn’s AirBNB is right in the heart of it. We are literally neighbors to the square that holds a replica of Michael Angelo. Jenn has seen the real thing and she says the replica is extremely well done.
The AirBNB is tiny and the shower is basically on top of the toilet but it has hot water!!!
I am so grateful that Jennifer has invited me to stay with her. She is really smart, well traveled, and funny. I want to be her best friend. She lives her life the way I want to live my life which makes her inspiring to be around.
We go to the huge Florence market and buy olives, spicy salami, cheese, pasta, broccoli, bread, jam, wine, AND chocolate for literally next to nothing. Jennifer also buys some nice cheap Firenze leather bags. I love market living!!
We walk the whole of Florence. Get €3 glasses of wine and talk and talk and talk.
We hike up to a beautiful view of Florence before heading back to cook supper.
I’m in serious need of a laundry mat, so Jenn actually ends up cooking all the food as I get lost, do laundry, and get lost coming back.
The title of my blog was supposed to be funny, but it has ended up just being really honest. If you ever read a post and wonder where I am at that exact moment, I’m somewhere in Western Europe probably wondering the same thing.
The good thing about having no sense of direction is that I tend to walk in circles, meaning that after a couple stressful days, not only have I gotten a healthy amount of exercise, but I also have a general idea of where everything is.
We have been talking about watching Chocolat for awhile now, so Jenn downloads it onto her iPhone and we watch it over dinner. The movie and food are both better than I expected and I fall asleep on the foldout futon in the kitchen feeling content in every way possible.
The next day we wake up early eat bread, jam and coffee and catch a train towards Cinque Terre.
(Which is a UNESCO world heritage site comprised of five villages that delicately line the Italian Riviera.)
Look it up! You’ll be booking a ticket to Italy tomorrow.
We buy special tickets in La Spezia that allow you to hop on and off the trains that run between all five tiny seaside villages.
We decide to start in Monterosso al Mare.
The villages are so picturesque I wouldn’t believe they existed if I hadn’t gone there myself.
From Monterosso we decide to walk to the Vernazza, the next village. They all look to be really close together and we think can get a great photo from the trail. Celebrating not being on the olive farm, we dressed up a bit today in skirts and make up etcetera. There are almost no tourists, but the tourists that are there are all wearing exercise clothes. We lightly scoff at them for over preparing a simple twenty minute stroll between the cities…
Until two hours later, after we have hiked up and down some seriously steep hills and over some fairly rugged terrain.
We are dusty, sweaty, red faced, and “bursting for the loo”.
The view was amazing though.
Our stops in Corniglia and Manarola are brief but lovely.
To celebrate our accidental exercise we get pizza one last time in the last village of Riomaggiore. We crawl onto the rocky water divide and watch the sunset next to a travel photographer.
We take the late train home and get settled into bed. I have not planned where I am going next, and I’m actually a little nervous. I need a workaway to save money, but I don’t know where I want to go or how I plan to get there. I am up until four in the morning looking up workaways, hostels, etcetera. When I wake up at seven, I have still not come up with a plan.
Jenn and I hug and she leaves to catch a train to Germany.
I too go to the train station and catch a train to Milan. I decide it is time to start heading in the direction of Spain. I consider staying in Milan until I get there and walk around a bit. I just wasn’t feeling the super busy city vibe. So I get out my map and look for a nice spot between Italy and Spain. Nice is close to the Italian border. I look up hostels and find one for 12.50 a night. Done. The machine won’t let me buy my ticket so I wait in line and buy one from the actual ticket counter.
“When do you want to go to Nice?”
“Would you like a return ticket?”
I don’t think so..
“Where will you be headed next?”
I’m not actually sure about that yet.
“Must be nice.”
It is nice.